Quartz
Crystalline Mineral of Silica


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Quartz
Crystalline Mineral of Silica
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Heating and cooling of elements and minerals are essential in forming quartz crystals


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Crystallization Process: Nucleation and Crystal Growth
Crystal Family: Hexagonal Crystal System and Chirality
Piezoelectricity: Metaphysical Properties and Electronics
Quartz Crystal Types: Gemstones


Crystalline mineral composed of silica

Reading time: 15 mins

Crystalline Mineral Brief

NOTE: The origin of the magmatic systems is not well understood, any descriptive content is deemed as speculative according to known and presumed observations.

Quartz is a tough, crystalline mineral composed of silica (silicon dioxide) and is said to be the second most abundant mineral in the Earths continental crust, after feldspar. The forming of quartz crystals begins with the heating and cooling of elements in pockets formed by a superheated soup of base minerals and gases (Magma). During the cooling of the granitic melts and in combination with fluids and gasses, fractionation causes water to exsolve (forming minerals or substances through separation). As the mineral rich granitic melt ascends, flux melting of overlying mafic underplates and other crust is triggered. The resulting granitoid magmas comprise a slurry of melt and residue that recrystallizes into a silicic thick, soft paste during a local thermodynamic process during its ascent.

Quartz ~ What's in a name?

There are several reasons given for how quartz got its name, some include mining dwarfs! No one really knows, but there are some interesting correlations in ancient Greek where so many names originate. In ancient Greek 'crystal' was referred as 'krystallos' and for a white to transparent appearance 'Kruos' means 'Ice Cold'. Rock crystal is another name that was given to transparent crystalline quartz, in Greek, it is spelt with the first word in the Greek translation resembling the word for quartz " φυσικό κρύσταλλο ".

Crystallization is a process in which solids form

Cystallization is the process where atoms and/or molecules are organized into a solid form in a structure known as a crystal. The crystallization process can be divided into 2 major steps, 'Nucleation' and 'Crystal Growth'

Nucleation

The initial procces in the formation of a crystal from a solution, liquid, or a vapour, along with a series of cooling events, is called Nucleation. A small number of ions, atoms, or molecules become arranged in a pattern of a crystalline solid most likely through frequency and vibration, creating a framework for additional particles to be deposited.

Conditions for Crystal Growth

Crystal growth and its growth rate is determined by a variety of conditions and according to the availability of silica, minerals and water. The crystal type is determined by temperature, air pressure and rate of fluid evaporation. The conditions required to determine the likelihood for a particular crystal type and probability of the crystallization process to commence, can be sub-divided into three:

Chemistry

Minerals and organic molecules crystallize easily into high structered crystals. Large biochemical particles and proteins are less likely to crystallize.

Molecular Forces

The intensity of the atomic, intermolecular or intramolecular forces will determine the likelihood of molecules crystallizing

Separation

Crystallization is also a separation of solids and liquids, in which an appropriate dissolved substance in the liquid solution forms a pure crystalline solid

Crystal Family

The crystal family can be divided into six crystal structures (also referred to as 'lattices and point groups'), five of these crystal structures are identical to one another 3 dimensionally, aretriclinic, monoclinic, orthorhombic, tetragonal and cubic. The hexangonal crystal family differs in that is can be further subdivided into 2 crystal systems, 'Hexagonal' and 'trigonal', which are of quartz.

Hexagonal Crystal Systems

Each of the 2 hexagonal crystal systems have their own lattice system, Hexagonal is Hexagonal in shape and has a sixfold axis of rotation. Trigonal is Rhombohedral in shape with a threefold axis of rotation and is often confused with the hexagonal lattice system. The lattice systems are classified using both point groups and spcae groups:

Point Groups

Put simply, point groups are used to classify an object by its symmetry in 2 dimensions (viewed as if seen in an image).

Space Groups

A space group is the categorization of an objects symmetry as viewed in three dimensions (symmetries tallied through rotation). Generally, in terms of chemistry and physics, space groups are classified into 219 distinct types.

Trigonal Crystal lattice

α-quartz - The ideal crystal shape (rhombohedral), a six-sided prism terminating with six-sided pyramids at 2 opposite ends. The trigonal crystal system consists of the 5 point groups that have a single three-fold rotation axis, which includes space groups 143 to 167.

5 points symmetry
space group 154

Hexagonal Crystal lattice

β-quartz - The transformation from α-quartz to β-quartz takes place abruptly at 573 °C (1,063 °F). This transformation has a significant increase in volume, and can induce fracturing of ceramics or rocks

7 points symmetry
space group 181

Chirality

Even though Both 'α-quartz' and 'β-quartz' are geometrical in form they are not identical to their mirror image and therefore they are commonly termed 'chiral'. A chiral object and its mirror image are called enantiomorphs which mean 'Opposite forms' in greek. An object that is identical to its mirror image is termed 'Achiral'.

Piezoelectricity

Crystals, Ceramics, Bone, DNA and Proteins have shown that they can accumulate an electric charge in the form Piezoelectricity (Pressure from latent Heat). The word comes from the Greek 'Piezen' which means to press or squeeze and 'elektron' which mean amber, which was long ago recognised for its static charging as per the triboelectric series. It is recorded that piezoelectricity was discovered in 1880 by French physicists Jacques and Pierre Curie, however, there is empirical evidence shows that ancient cultures where fully aware of electrical properties of materials and more so than we do today.

Metaphysical Properties

Crystals have long been renowned for their esoteric attributes because it is understood that the piezioelectricity accumulation in crystals is much the same as that of Bone, DNA and Proteins in the human body. It is without wonder then that Quartz Crystals have long been ascociated with metaphysical properties such as structure, storing, amplification, focusing, transmitting and transforming energy. How these properties work is unclear, however, The clearer the quartz the cleaner and more powerful the effects are according to practitioners of crystal healing, meditation and spiritual work.

Intuition and a positive temperament plays an important role in the effects of any crystal or modality, and how you feel towards a crystal is an important to how you use it and the benefits attained. Quartz crystals act like tuning forks and returns or balances our physical and subtle bodies frequencies to a more natural state. Studies have shown that holding a small, double terminated quartz doubles the photographable portion of the human aura.

Clarity

Focus and Magnification

Channeling

Cleansing

Healing

Chakra Stimulation

Electronics

Quartz is widely Used in the electronics industry to both resonate and filter electronic frequencies in a large number of applications that is associated or ascentuates the operation of our own senses...which include Sensors, Optics, Sound, Balancing with atomic resolution and precision. Common everyday uses are Push/Press start ignition sources, Quartz watches, Electrical insturments and Mobile phones.

Quartz Crystal Types

The most varied and common of all minerals is Quartz and it occurs in many different forms, habits, and colors, often forming in the inner lining of geodes as a layer of large crystalline Quartz, and an outer layer of Chalcedony or banded Agate. Chalcedony is a Microcrystalline form of Quartz and only forms as compacted and microscopic crystals.

Gemstones

There are more quartz varieties than any other known mineral. The main crystalline Quartz varieties are are semi-precious gemstones and it is the various impurities that are responsible for the extensive range of colors. As some colours are either rare or expensive many clear rock crystals are synthetically coloured through various heating or film techniques to form imitations of the pure gem type quartz

All forms of Quartz are used as gemstones, They are either kept in their natural crystal form or cut into various cabochons, tumbled or polished and used in all forms of jewelery.

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Amethyst

Light to Dark purple

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Ametrine

Purple and Brownish Yellow

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Aventurine

Glistening, Green, Gray, Orange, Brown

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Blue

Blue to Gray with Inclusions

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Cat's Eye

Translucent Gray with Rutile Inclusions

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Citrine

Yellow, Orange or Reddish Brown

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Elestial

Golden Yellow or Amethyst

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Lemon

Light to dark Yellow

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Milky

Translucent to Opaque White

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Prase

Translucent Emerald Green & Inclusions

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Prasiolite or Vermarine

Green

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Rock Crystal

Transparent and Pure

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Rose

Milky Light to Medium Soft Pink

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Rutilated

Colorless and Golden Yellow Hair Inclusions

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Smoky

Smoky Light Brown to Black

.
>

Tourmalinated

Translucent, Splintery Black Tourmaline Inclusions

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Ferruginous

Opaque Red - Brown or Yellow, Red, Brown Inclusions

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Faden

Translucent with White thread like interior




Crystals

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